James Winslow has got himself a three-race open-wheel drive in the United States with a team that could potentially provide a promotion to the Indy Racing League.
The A1 Team GBR rookie driver and reigning Australian F3 champion joined the Mazda-powered Atlantic Championship series for its first round at Sebring International Raceway with Conquest Racing.
Winslow, winner of three international titles in as many seasons, had hoped to join the V8 Supercar series in Australia for 2009.
But he ran into sponsorship problems again after experiencing a year of titanic struggles to keep himself in play for the Australian F3 title.
Winslow had been looking for potential moves to America for the last two years and was hoping for an entry into either the Atlantic or the Indy Lights championships.
A 2007 Champ Car test with Conquest Racing made enough of an impression on team boss Eric Bachelart: “Eric contacted me out of the blue with the chance to race with his team in Atlantics this season and, as you can imagine, I jumped at it.
“I was already looking for opportunities in America after my openings in V8s dried up, but I didn’t expect something to happen this quickly — or in this way.”
In the Sebring race – one he described as the steepest learning curve of his career – he put in a respectable eighth-place finish having qualified 13th.
Bachelart said of the weekend: “Coming back with two rookies, after being absent for one year and pretty much continuing where we left off is quite good and something to be proud of.
“Harald has done a good job and has shown us his competitiveness and James has just kept on improving all week long. I’m very satisfied with the week we’ve had.”
The next race is due to be held at the Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on May 17.